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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #108863: Adjectives: where to place them?
    > Other English exercises on the same topics: Adjectives | Making portraits, describing [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Comparative of superiority - Adjectives and prepositions - Order of adjectives - Superlative + and adjective - Adjectives-ing and ed - Adjectives and adverbs - Describing a face - Superlative
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    Adjectives: where to place them?

    For the first time since I've been making these lessons in English (matching those I make in French), I've been facing a predicament... The topic is simple : ADJECTIVES. Yet, if I start explaining them using the terms used in English grammar, I know I'll confuse a great number of you because when you look at these terms with a 'foreign mind', they do not correspond to the pattern of what people are used to in their own languages. Besides, my aim is obviously not to teach British or American people their own language... but to help learners from all countries practise the language we love so much. 

    Therefore, not to confuse you, I've decided not to use those technical words and speak in terms of description and constructions... 


    In English, adjectives are NEVER IN THE PLURAL (even if the noun is); the same rule applies to the participles which may have the function of adjectives present participles : Verb + -ing [ with an active meaning]  and past participles Verb +  -ed  [with a passive meaning] (or 3rd column of the irregular verbs).


    Ex : A red dress 

           A tiring job (a job which tires you => active meaning)

           A tired employee (an employee who is tired = passive meaning).



    1) Where to place adjectives in the sentence? 

    a) In English, most of the time, adjectives are placed  BEFORE THE NOUN . If there are several of them, there's an order to follow ... (it won't be given in this lesson for beginners.)

    ex : a shy student ; an expensive car ; a long dress  a silly boy.

    ex : an exciting adventure ; a frightened man.


    b) Yet, in English, some adjectives are placed behind the noun:

    - the adjectifs accompanied by a complement :

    ex : a full cup => a cup full of tea  

    a sick mother => a mother sick with worry...


    - some adjectives are placed like complements, or Predicates  after some verbs : be, become, grow, look, seem. The adjectives =  well, ill, gladdrunk, cross.

    ex :  The man looked so cross that nobody could speak to  him ... 


    - All the adjectives starting with the prefixe  a- : asleep, awake, alone, afraidalive

    ex : The baby finally fell asleep , when it was almost time for his following bottle.


    - An adjective can be accompanied by : verya littlerather, quiteso, tooenough.

    ex : In spite of all his friends, the boy was quite lonely and frightened.



    Easy, isn't it ?  I'm sure you're ready for the test ...  Today, we'll be at a show ...


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    - Olie was so happy to go to the show with her parents!
    She decided that she would be very elegant, and she was! She was wearing , , , and with little flowers on it. She was so cute with her of the Ice Queen.
    Her eyes wide-open, she was when the show started... Her Mom was to see her so calm, looking and listening so carefully...
    On the stage, the dancers' were and the were moving and jumping on the rhythm of the different musics. She on on the stage.
    When they went out, after the show, there was on a bench. 'Don't you think he looks like a clown?', Olie asked, still in her fairy tale!

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